Lohagad Fort, Khandala Overview
Situated on the top of Malavali Hill, at an elevation of about 3400 feet is the magnificent Lohagad Fort. The fort is surrounded by lush green forests and is known for its scenic beauty. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations among the residents of Mumbai and Pune. The fort is 52 km away from Pune and is an ideal destination for nature lovers and trekkers. A calm ambience, cool mountain air and beautiful surroundings make this region one of the perfect weekend escapades for travellers.
The trek to the Lohagad Fort is a simple one and can be undertaken by a beginner. The fort is also connected to a fort named Visapur Fort which lies in its close proximity. The fort was under the control of the Maratha Empire until it was annexed by Britishers after the decline of the Maratha Empire in the 19th century. Recently, the base of the Fort has been well-connected with metalled road and hence, it has become convenient for the travellers to visit the Fort during the rainy season. The Fort is known for its rich history, scenic beauty and adventurous trekking activities.
More on Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort Trekking
Lohagad Fort is nestled amidst the mystical hills of Western Ghats and is the most popular trekking destination in Konkan region among the adventure enthusiasts. There are many trekking routes to reach the fort, however, the fastest and the easiest trail is the one that begins from the village of Lohagadwadi which is later followed by a short uphill climb. Another trekking route starts from Bhaje village which is approximately 6 km away from Malavali. From this village you will have to walk to Gaumukh Khand, take a left turn and keep walking straight till you reach the stairs that lead towards the fort’s entry. If you take right from this place, you will reach Visapur Fort.
History of Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort was constructed in the 18th century. In addition to being a popular trekking destination, the fort also has immense historical significance. In the past, the fortress has been under the rule of several dynasties such as Rashtrakutas, Nizams, Yadavas, Marathas Bahamanis, Mughals Chalukyas.
Architecture of Lohagad Fort
The massive fort of Lohagad is situated atop Malavali Hill at an elevation of 3400 feet. The fort comprises of four gateways namely Maha Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Hanuma Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja. You will be fascinated to see the intricate carvings and sculptures on the Maha Darwaja. The most popular spot in the fort is the Vinchu Kata which resembles a Scorpion’s sting.
Best Time to Visit Lohagad Fort
Plan your trip to Lohagad Fort during the monsoon season. The monsoon rains settle the dust around and the surroundings look fresh and verdurous. The dark monsoon clouds obscure the sun and hence, the weather becomes pleasant and bearable. On the top of the fort, the water tanks are full and if you want, you can take a dip in the cool water for fun!
During the rainy season, you should be careful while walking on the path because the consistent rain makes it muddy and slippery. It is advised to take your time while trekking and avoid walking on the edge on the road.
Sightseeing Around Lohagad Fort
Once you are at the top of the hill fort, you will be mesmerized by the breathtaking panoramic view of the surroundings. Moreover, there are four majestic gates that are embellished with intricate carvings and figurines. You will also come across a chamber which was used by the Maratha Empire to store the treasure and a few water cisterns. The water tanks are full with fresh rainwater during the monsoon season and if you want, you can jump into it for fun.
One of the most exciting parts in Lohagad Fort is the Vinchu Kata, which means scorpion’s sting. It is a narrow part of the hill leading to a deep cliff and trekking to this point is a thrilling experience.
Tips For Visiting Lohagad Fort
1. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes as you will be trekking your way up to the fort.
2. Also, carry a raincoat and other rain protection gear if you are planning a trip during monsoon season.
3. We also recommend that you carry snacks and about 2 litres of water per person since you will feel thirsty and hungry after the trek.
How to Reach Lohagad Fort?
The best trek route to reach Lohagad Fort is via Lohagadwadi village. You can hire a taxi till this village and from there you can climb up to the fort. The trek route consists of stone steps and is easy to navigate through. The steps get slippery due to growth of mosses during the rainy season, therefore it is recommended to walk cautiously if you are planning to travel to this place in monsoons. The trek from the village to the hilltop will hardly take 45 to 50 minutes. If you are planning to come by train, you can get off at Malavali railway station and then either take an auto-rickshaw or bus to reach the village base.